Over-the-Counter Medications to Avoid While Pregnant

Over-the-Counter Medications to Avoid While Pregnant

As you prepare for the arrival of your new son or daughter, you are likely wondering whether you should change your medication regimen. Keep in mind that there are a wide variety of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that may increase your child’s risk of injury, birth defects, or developmental issues, and it is imperative to their wellbeing that you talk to your doctor about which medications to avoid while you are with child.  

Common OTC Medications that May Not Be Safe During Pregnancy

Most over-the-counter medications are perfectly safe when only being taken for one. However, many of them can pose serious risk to children in utero.

In order to preserve your child’s health during pregnancy and help avoid birth defects or injuries, ask your doctor before taking any of the following drugs:

  • Aspirin (Found in pain relievers made by Excedrin, Aleve, Bayer, and others)
  • Bismuth subsalicylate (Found in Pepto Bismol and other medications used to treat indigestion, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, etc.)
  • Brompheniramine (Found in Sudafed PE, Dimetapp Cold, and other antihistamines)
  • Clorpheniramine (Found in Alka-Seltzer, Advil Allergy & Congestion Relief, and other cold medicines)
  • Ibuprofen (Found in Advil, Motrin, Aleve, and other pain relievers)
  • Naproxen (Found in Aleve, Naproxen Sodium, and other pain relievers)
  • Phenylephrine/pseudoephedrine (Found in Claritin-D, Sudafed, Advil Cold & Sinus, Alka-Seltzer Plus, Dayquil, and more)

Also consult with your doctor before ingesting castor oil, drinking caffeine, and nicotine-containing products such as nicotine gum or patches.

What to Do if You Have a Condition that Requires OTC Drugs

Depending on the nature of your condition, you may still be able to receive treatment for colds, allergies, and other health issues treatable using OTC drugs. Some OTC medications have alternatives that are safe for expecting mothers, and there may be other non-pharmaceutical treatment available for certain conditions. If you are aware that your current OTC medication is unsafe for use during pregnancy, talk to your primary care physician before attempting any alternative drugs or treatments.

How to Be Sure if an OTC Medication Is Safe

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about which medications are safe for use during pregnancy and which ones are not. Many pharmaceutical drug manufacturers market their products as “safe for use during pregnancy,” but this is often based on the lack of available data regarding potential harm, rather than actual evidence of a drug’s safety.

When the health of your unborn child is on the line, you can’t afford to select your medications based on word of mouth or a cursory Google search. Do yourself and your child a favor and seek out reliable, expert recommendations from licensed medical professionals before taking OTC drugs of any kind while you are expecting.

Fort Worth Primary Care Doctors Serving Pregnant Mothers in North Texas

At Primary Care Associates of Texas, we serve expecting mothers at every stage of pregnancy. If you are with child and are taking any OTC medications, book your appointment with one of our Fort Worth primary care physicians today. We are compassionate, board-certified physicians with years of experience serving pregnant mothers, and we can provide you with the trustworthy guidance you need.

You can also reach us by calling to speak to a staff member at the location nearest you.


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